Embracing equity at CHT on International Women’s Day

March 8, 2023

Today marks International Women’s Day with the theme of #EmbraceEquity.

At Carolina House Trust we are recognising what we do as an organisation to support and empower women. A gender equal world will take social, cultural and political will; but we can all take action towards this and indeed will only happen if we do. We are a community of carers, staff, volunteers and young people who by the very nature of what we do strive towards social justice. We work in an area where women make up most of the workforce, we will always have more to do to support our team but are also an example of what can be achieved where our values and actions are aligned.  

Our numbers – a predominately female team is normal in social care, but our leadership numbers are better than in much of society.

  • 75% female team
  • 100% female leadership team
  • 44% female Board of Directors

How we are supporting women and moving towards equity at Carolina House Trust

The support we provide to support our team and work towards gender equity across our community

  • We celebrate achievements – We take a Growth Mindset approach to recognising achievements and learning opportunities. We make speaking up about what we are proud of and owning when we get it wrong normal and remove shame and blame culture.
  • Specific support for the women who work for us – We have a Menopause policy to provide support and guidance to women experiencing challenges with the natural life event and their line managers. We provide period products at Head Office free of charge for our staff and visitors.
  • Women supporting local economies – our self-employed main carers are mostly women and we know women spend a higher proportion of their earnings on their families and local communities than men (OECD).
  • A staff volunteering policy to recognise the value of volunteering in our community. Two of our team regularly volunteer for causes supporting women and families.
  • Policies applicable to everyone but addressing known challenges for women and girls:
    • Equal Opportunities & Diversity
    • Supporting victims of domestic abuse
    • Flexible working
    • Adult protection
    • Child protection
    • Child sexual exploitation
    • Childs rights
    • Online safety
  • Policies that support maternity health and the wellbeing of our staff becoming parents
    • Paid time off for pregnancy-related appointments.
    • Paid time off for adoption appointments.
    • Enhanced Maternity and Adoption Pay.
    • Shared parental leave at an enhanced rate.
    • Paternity leave at an enhanced rate supporting partners and strengthening parental relationships (McKinsey).
  • We are signed up to the Dundee Carers Charter. We support our unpaid carers with emergency paid time off for dependents and flexible working. Women bear disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care (UN).
  • We are a Living Wage Employer – women are more likely to be paid less than the Living Wage than men in the UK (Living Wage Foundation).

We can be proud of our progress so far while still recognising there is more to do. Challenges facing women globally remain – gender-based violence, discrimination and intersectional diversity in leadership. New services will benefit from input from a broader diversity of experience in our leadership and teams especially as we begin to support children and young people from more diverse backgrounds through our Host Families service. We are committed to tackling inequity for women and girls in our community and beyond, which we know benefits everyone in society.

You can find International Women’s Day resources at the official website.